The term research philosophy refers to a system of beliefs and assumptions about the development of knowledge. In layman’s terms, a research philosophy is the choice a researcher makes on how to pursue his research, consciously or subconsciously. Scholars have identified five of the most prominent research philosophies in academia, however, choosing one is a matter of debate. (main source: Saunders, Mark & Lewis, P & Thornhill, A. (2009). Understanding research philosophies and approaches. Research Methods for Business Students. 4. 106-135.)
InterpretivismShow moreShow less
Interpretivism is a subjectivist philosophy that focuses on studying the people and the meanings they create.
Using fewer sources is a methodological choice that has merit in academic research as it allows for a more targeted approach and it can also be the only choice if the research topic doesn't have enough evidence. It also allows the researcher to spend more time in interpreting the evidence that could have been spend in collecting sources. This way it is also possible to avoid entering the realm of other academic disciplines, which would necessitate expert knowledge in a different academic field (e.g. historians could incorporate archaeological evidence in their research, however they may be ill-equipped to interpret it.)